Having finished this novel, what are your general impressions? You might address how the novel challenged you, or what you found difficult. You might address what new questions it raised for you. Be careful not to judge it “against” Gyasi’s- though comparisons can certainly help. Focus on the different experience you had reading Viramontes’ novel as a student of literatures by immigrants of color.
Respond meaningfully to 2 peers, engaging with the ideas they present (avoid focusing on general evaluative comments like, “This is good/interesting/wonderful.” “I disagree”). ~
Please respond to discussion post 1 below – 135 words
Discussion Post 1
To me, the biggest hurdle of this novel so far was the Dialogue. The representations of each character were in the situations around them instead of any outward dialogue, and the feeling of the characters was shown in haphazard bundles of context. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, I preferred to have at least somewhat of dialogue from the characters that were easy to understand, like in Homegoing.
Each time a character spoke it was in broken sentences, fragments of a full conversation, and it makes me wonder if this was done on purpose to show something of the story; If we were meant to try and connect their outer dialogue to their inner monologue and feelings to create what they meant to say.
Overall, much like Gyasi, the story was not told in full. I want so badly to know if Alejo is ok, or if not, that his family was contacted so that they do not have to wonder. Is that example of being left to others’ devices, their hands being the cause of your life or death, something so unavoidable that it is almost commonplace amongst those in situations like Petra’s and Estrella’s? Are cultural norms and traditions so powerful that they can blind common sense and intuition? If his death was felt within everyone’s beings why was it not taken care of sooner, Estrella’s power shown sooner, to make sure he was ok? Or was that the lesson that needed to be learned at that moment to make a difference in their lives?
Please respond to discussion post 2 below – 135 words
Discussion Post 2
Viramontes uniquely describes the poor living conditions of the farm laborer’s in the novel, Under the feet of Jesus, using a non-violent language. Viramontes incorporates Spanish words in the novel to not only express the character’s fluency in the language but also to show that some characters do not know English. I felt alienated and challenged as a reader because I did not understand most of the Spanish words used in the novel. I spent a considerable amount of time searching for the meanings of the Spanish words and putting them in the right context not to lose their relevance. I was trying to understand and translate the experiences of the characters in the novel, a feeling that detached me from the experiences.
As a student of literature and also an immigrant of color I found the novel unique in exposing the struggles of marginalized communities in a society supposed to help them but instead oppresses them. Viramontes explains how there is structural violence in society which often goes undetected because society does not pay much attention to it.
Viramontes uses the third person omniscient point of view to make readers have a feel of reality and helps readers to read the minds of the characters. After coming back from the hospital, for example, Estrella saw perfecto standing outside against the wagon, “If Perfecto had a cigarette he would have smoked it, inhaling the tobacco like a potent drug to tame the panic in the air.”(Viramontes 160). This point of view brings a realistic description of the details which could not have been otherwise said or expressed
Type of service: Academic paper writing
Type of assignment: Coursework
Pages / words: 1 / 275
Academic level: Sophomore (College 2nd year)
Paper format: MLA
Line spacing: Double
Language style: US English